Shared-Use Mobility (SUM) commonly includes ride sharing, car sharing, ride hailing, microtransit, mobility on demand, and vanpooling services/systems, as well as other forms of transportation services that are shared among users, as defined in TCRP Research Report 188. The emergence of SUM practices in urban areas raises the question of how any of these practices can be applied in less populated areas. There may be an opportunity to use these urban SUM practices to address the unmet transportation needs in less populated communities. SUM applications have been successful at connecting people to mobility options, and there is increasing interest by small urban, rural, and frontier communities to pursue partnerships/SUM practices as a means to improve overall mobility and accessibility.
In less densely populated areas, fewer private transportation options, greater distances between origins and destinations, limited public transportation staff and resources, and lack of supporting infrastructure (e.g., wireless cellular network coverage and broadband) create challenges to successfully implement SUM options. However, some of these SUM options from urban areas may be properly scaled.
Research is needed to further existing research in this area to aid state departments of transportation (DOTs) in providing technical assistance to public transportation providers in order to meet the increasingly varied transportation needs of communities. The following reports produced results about SUM as it relates to its emergence as a new form of transportation and impact on urban public transportation, as well as broad case studies to encourage partnerships with public transportation in rural areas, but these reports do not adequately address the needs of implementing SUM in collaboration with public transportation in less densely populated areas: NCHRP 20-65 Task 76, TCRP Research Report 195, and TCRP Research Report 196.
The objective of this research is to provide state DOTs and public transportation providers with a report and implementation guidebook on innovative applications for integrating public transportation in less populated areas with SUM services and providers. For this research, SUM services include ride sharing, car sharing, ride hailing, microtransit, mobility on demand, and vanpooling services/systems. The report must include case studies of urban, rural, and frontier partnerships. The case studies, will at a minimum, highlight challenges and solutions addressing the following:
- ADA accessibility,
- regulatory, policy, and funding issues,
- service and cost efficiency,
- scalability to small urban, rural, and frontier communities,
- liability concerns, and
- data security.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
The research plan should be organized into at least four phases and describe appropriate deliverables that include, but are not limited to the following (which also represent key project milestones):
- Three interim reports and an in-person meeting with the NCHRP project panel. The interim report shall be completed within 6 months of project initiation. The panel meeting will take place after the panel review of the interim report.
- A final report that documents the entire research effort and includes an executive summary that outlines the research results.
The research plan may include additional deliverables as well as additional panel meetings via teleconferences. Teleconferences and web-enabled meetings will be hosted by NCHRP.
Work conducted in Phase I will include a literature search, an outreach plan to stakeholders, and a review of industry practice.
Task 1. Conduct a literature search on U.S. public transportation and integration of SUM in urban, rural, and frontier settings.
Task 2. Develop a data collection plan and stakeholder outreach plan.
Task 3. Conduct a review of industry practice and SUM providers. Develop criteria for the selection of case studies, and prepare an outline for the case studies.
Phase I will culminate in Interim Report 1 that will also include an updated, detailed work plan and project schedule for remaining phases.
Work conducted in Phase II will include implementation of the stakeholder outreach plan from Phase I.
Task 4. Conduct outreach to national organizations so as to gather information from innovative applications and/or lessons learned on failed shared mobility projects. Outreach may include focus groups and/or workshops held in conjunction with national meetings or events.
Task 5. Conduct outreach to public and private providers to identify a balanced pool of potentially scalable case study candidates. NCHRP approval of the case study candidates is required before the pool can be finalized.
Phase II will culminate in Interim Report 2 and will include an updated, detailed work plan and project schedule for remaining phases. Following a 1-month review of Interim Report 2, a conference call meeting of the research team and the NCHRP project panel will be held to discuss Interim Report 2. NCHRP approval of Interim Report 2 is required before continuing with future phases.
Work conducted in Phase III will include the implementation of the approved data collection plan based on the findings in Phases I and II.
Task 6. Conduct case studies and other relevant data collection activities.
Task 7. Develop examples or templates of contracts, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), memorandums of agreement (MOAs), and requests for proposals (RFPs) that public transportation providers may adapt and use.
Task 8. Develop an implementation checklist with supporting scalable strategies to accommodate innovative applications in less populated environments.
Task 9. Provide a detailed outline for the guidebook and the report.
Phase III will culminate in Interim Report 3 that will also include an updated, detailed work plan and project schedule for remaining phases. Following a 1-month review of Interim Report 3, an interim meeting of the research team and the NCHRP project panel will be held to discuss Interim Report 3.
Note: The interim meeting will be held at the TRB offices in Washington, D.C. NCHRP will host the meeting and be responsible for the cost of panel member travel to attend the meeting. NCHRP approval is required before work on future phases can begin.
Develop the draft implementation guidebook and submit it to NCHRP. After NCHRP approval, submit the draft guidebook to relevant industry professionals to vet the contents. Provide a summary of the feedback from the vetting activities to NCHRP. The summary also should describe how the feedback received will be used to revise the guidebook.
Task 10. Prepare and submit draft final deliverables that include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Draft implementation guidebook.
- Draft final report to incorporate the following items:
- Draft final summary of the research effort and methods.
- Short infographic briefing(s) for policy- and decision-makers on the key research findings.
- An implementation plan that identifies opportunities for dissemination and moving research into practice (see Special Note B)
- Webinar presentation materials on the research and deliverables.
Task 11. Prepare an overview presentation that summarizes the results of the research and includes speaker notes suitable for a webinar.
Note: The proposal should contain sufficient information about the anticipated content and design of the final deliverables to demonstrate an understanding of (1) the audience for the research results and (2) of effective dissemination and implementation pathways. Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.
A. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
B. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.
C. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
D. Item 4, “Research Plan,” shall be limited to no more than 20 8.5” x 11” pages. Do not include research plan material in an appendix; the material will not be considered. Item 5, “Qualification of the Research Team” is limited to one 8.5” x 11” page for each member of the proposed project team. Item 5 should provide information on the qualifications of each member of the proposed research team who will make substantive contributions to the project. Do not include material on qualifications of the research team in an appendix; the material will not be considered.
E. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academies of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Program publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.
F. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.